Fall is in full swing, which can take some time for you to adjust to as the temperatures fluctuate and the weather goes from sunny and warm to rainy and cold on a day-to-day basis. Two illnesses that increase in popularity during this time of year are the cold and flu, caused by highly contagious viruses that appear very similar at the onset. Knowing the differences in symptoms is critical to making sure you get the right treatment and prevent any potential complications that may be caused by extended illness or improper care.
Symptoms of the cold virus usually appear between one and three days after you are initially exposed to the virus and last for between three and ten days. Symptoms may include:
- Stuffed and/or runny nose
- Chest congestion
- Sore throat
- Persistent sneezing, coughing and wheezing
The common cold can typically resolve on its own within a few days, and symptoms can be treated with over-the-counter decongestants and fluids. If you catch a cold, make sure you drink plenty of water, sports drinks, juice or eat soup in order to stay hydrated especially if you develop a fever. Visit your local urgent care if your fever lasts more than five days without falling or breaking or you feel short of breath to be examined and treated.
The influenza virus is in season between October and May, peaking around midwinter. Most symptoms affect the upper respiratory system, which can lead to serious side effects in high-risk patients. This group includes pregnant women, senior citizens, young children and patients with chronic conditions and compromised immune systems. If you exhibit one or more of these symptoms, visit AFC Urgent Care Hillsdale immediately for treatment:
- High fever (over 100.4 F)
- Body and head aches
- Chills and sweats
- Sneezing, coughing and wheezing
Unlike colds, the flu is easily prevented by making sure your annual flu shot is up-to-date. The vaccination protects you against the virus for up to six months, so it can prevent the flu for the entirety of the season. The flu shot takes about two weeks to take effect. If you haven’t gotten your shot yet, now is the best time!
Cold & Flu Treatment in Hillsdale, NJ
If you begin to develop symptoms, visit AFC Urgent Care Hillsdale for diagnosis and treatment! Our center is open seven days a week, with walk-in patients always accepted. If you have questions about treatment, please call 201-523-9222